Ingrid Betancourt, a woman in search of democracy and justice for her country, was removed one year and three months ago during her election campaign in Colombia. She is a victim among so many others, and without any doubt, this is just one in a long list of violations of fundamental rights for Colombian men and women.
As an Indian, a victim and a surviver of one of the bloodiest wars on the American continent, and having personally suffered from state terrorism, torture and disappearance of my family, I plead for the end of intolerance, misery, discrimination and other violations of Humans right in Colombia and in the whole world. I vigorously condemn this type of violent act and I require a fast release for Ingrid.
That is why I reiterate my hope to see Ingrid as well as the other prisoners return to their families and so put an end to the anguish which overpowers them since months.
This gesture will also be useful for a revival of peace negotiations leading to the resolution to the conflict which has been devastating Colombia since several decades.
And so we will be able to keep on nourishing our hopes for the possibility of a better world.
Mexico City DF, May 20, 2003
Rigoberta Menchu Tum
Nobel Peace Prize 1992
Ambassadress of Goodwill of UNESCO
for a Culture of Peace
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